Somehow, I’ve neglected to tell you about the aliens landing here in North Carolina. And no, I don’t mean just us hoopers. From sun-up to sun-down, we are audience to a constant and unbelievably loud whirring that recalls every UFO film you’ve ever seen. You’d swear that alien ships were landing all around us … there’s just no other way to describe it. But, in fact, the swooshing symphony is the emerging of a special kind of cicada that rises from beneath the dirt only once every 13 years to mate and lay its eggs. The buzzing is the cicada’s mating call … heralding the new generation of its kind.
It has been the soundtrack, a recurring theme, for our gathering here. And it’s hard not to see it as some kind of portent for the future of our own underground culture. You don’t have to be right here with us to feel the stirring of something phenomenally new, to know that our circle is growing, multiplying, and creating movement that we couldn’t have imagined thirteen years ago.